Killing two birds with one stone is the pinnacle of efficiency. It shows you can take on two things at once and complete them both to a high standard.
But is “kill two birds with one stone” the best phrase to use in professional situations?
This article will explore a professional way to say “kill two birds with one stone.”
Is It Offensive to Say “Kill Two Birds With One Stone”?
It is not offensive to say “kill two birds with one stone.” Of course, it might be construed as such if you use it when talking to vegans or vegetarians. After all, it insinuates killing two animals.
However, the phrase itself is also informal and unprofessional. You should probably avoid using it when trying to sell yourself on a resume or cover letter.
Here is an example to help you understand it better:
I can kill two birds with one stone when implementing my new system. It’s highly effective and efficient.
- It’s a great idiom that everyone recognizes.
- It works well in informal cases to demonstrate efficiency.
- It may not be the most appropriate phrase to use professionally.
- Vegans and vegetarians might find it offensive.
Clearly, “kill two birds with one stone” isn’t the best phrase to use in professional situations. So, you’ll need to learn another phrase to keep things interesting and formal.
Keep reading to learn another way to say “kill two birds with one stone.” You can also review the examples we provide under each heading.
What to Say Instead of “Kill Two Birds With One Stone”
- Water two plants with one hose
- Free two birds with one key
- Mash two potatoes with one fork
- One fell swoop
- Have my cake and eat it
- Carry two faces under one hood
- Stop two mouths with one morsel
- Make two friends with one gift
1. Water Two Plants With One Hose
The first idiom we want to go over is “water two plants with one hose.” You might notice that it’s a vegan alternative to “kill two birds with one stone.”
But what does it mean to be a vegan alternative?
Well, it simply means that the idiom does not harm animals. Instead, it replaces “birds” with “plants” and encourages watering them rather than killing them.
It’s a much better phrase if you’re trying to be inoffensive. It works best in professional communication and messages between peers.
You can also refer to these examples:
I plan on watering two plants with one hose. I know what I need to do, and I’m certain I’ve figured out how to do it.
So, I will water two plants with one hose. Just wait and see what I’m capable of. I’m sure you’ll be impressed.
2. Free Two Birds With One Key
Another great formal synonym is “free two birds with one key.” It’s a much less offensive phrase that suggests you’re trying to help the birds rather than kill them.
Generally, this phrase is more positive. Thus, it yields more positive results. You should use it when you have an idea for efficiency relating to things that will improve your workload.
We recommend using it when discussing ideas with your boss. It’s highly effective and suggests you have a good plan in place already.
Here are some examples to help you understand it better:
I will free two birds with one key when this project goes forward. It’s one of the most efficient ones I’ve ever created.
I can free two birds with one key. All I need is for you to trust me just a little bit. Do you believe in me?
3. Mash Two Potatoes With One Fork
This one is a little more funny than some of the others. You can write “mash two potatoes with one fork” in some professional text chains.
Of course, you need to know the recipient well before using a phrase like this. It works better when you’re close with the recipient (i.e., if you’re texting a colleague).
You should avoid using it to text someone like your boss. It might not get the same results.
You may also refer to the following examples:
Let’s mash two potatoes with one fork! I’m certain that I’m on to a winner here. I just need your approval!
I can mash two potatoes with one fork. I’ll bring them both into my office for a meeting and discuss it further.
4. One Fell Swoop
Let’s step away from the idioms for a second. While it’s good to stick to a similar format as “kill two birds with one stone,” it doesn’t mean it’s your only option.
You can also use a phrase like “one fell swoop.” In fact, “one fell swoop” tends to be more suitable in formal emails because it is more professional.
We recommend writing “one fell swoop” when showcasing efficiency. It shows you’re able to complete two (or more) tasks in one go.
This email sample should also help you:
We can achieve this in one fell swoop. Please don’t do anything that might jeopardize our entire operation.
Another way to say “kill two birds with one stone” is “two-for-one.” Again, this isn’t a direct idiomatic synonym.
Instead, it is a phrase that shows you’re willing to do two tasks in one go. We recommend using it to show that you’re efficient and capable.
It’s highly effective as a more formal alternative to “kill two birds with one stone.”
And, like many of the other alternatives we’ve included, it doesn’t mention “killing” anything. Therefore, it’s a good choice if you’re worried someone might take offense to the original phrase.
Perhaps this email example will also clear things up:
I can sort this out as a two-for-one. I have a few ideas that’ll help me to maximize efficiency here.
6. Have My Cake and Eat It
Have you ever heard the phrase “you can’t have your cake and eat it”? Well, this alternative plays into that idiom.
This time, we’re saying you can “have your cake and eat it.” It suggests you can complete two (or more) tasks at once.
It’s a great way to show that you’re efficient.
Also, it’s very formal, making it an excellent choice when writing an email to your peers. Try it the next time you contact a colleague.
Check out the following email sample if you’re still stumped:
I would like to have my cake and eat it for once. Therefore, I think I have a good plan to get through this.
7. Carry Two Faces Under One Hood
You should try using “carry two faces under one hood.” It’s a great idiom, and it’s not all that common. So, it’s likely that the reader might not have heard it before.
Since the reader wouldn’t have this idiom, it’s a great way to try and impress them. We highly recommend using it to show that you are willing to maximize efficiency.
It’s fairly formal and tends to work well in a job application. Of course, you’ll want to find a suitable way to include it before writing something like this.
Don’t try to force any of these idioms into formal writing. Make it feel as natural as possible to get them right!
You can also review the following examples:
I will carry two faces under one hood with this one. Leave it with me because I have a good idea to get them talking.
We can carry two faces under one hood in this regard. I’m almost certain we can get them to open up.
8. Stop Two Mouths With One Morsel
For a great vegan alternative to “kill two birds with one stone,” try “stop two mouths with one morsel.” It’s a more caring variation of the original phrase.
This means that you plan on “feeding two people with one piece of food.” Therefore, it’s another idiom relating to efficiency in the workplace.
As long as you come up with some kind of system that allows you to do two things at once, this phrase will work.
Here are some examples to help you if you’re still unsure:
Let’s stop two mouths with one morsel and question them ourselves. Don’t you think that makes sense?
I want to stop two mouths with one morsel. Therefore, I think this is the best way for us to address them.
9. Make Two Friends With One Gift
If you’re looking for a friendly and loving synonym, try “make two friends with one gift.”
It’s a really fun phrase that shows you’re willing to explore your options to improve workflow.
In the context of this idiom, it means you’ll improve relationships with clients. The “friends” in this idiom usually refers to customers or clients currently working with your company.
Check out the following examples as well:
You should try to make two friends with one gift. Invite them both to the meeting and see what happens.
Make two friends with one gift, Mary. I know you’ve got what it takes to complete this one.